Twelve English towns that have been chosen to participate in a scheme known as The Portas Pilots, designed to help to rejuvenate their shopping areas. The towns will implement ideas put forward by retail expert and television personality Mary Portas. The government will make £1.2m available to fund the schemes. Professor Cathy Parker comments on the project:
There’s been a lot in the news this week about the Portas Pilots – so here is a round up and my view on some of the key issues that have been discussed.
Why have the Portas towns got high retail vacancy rates?
There are some forces of change that work on a national or even international level, affecting all town centres, such as the recession – people have less money to spend and e-commerce – more of people’s spend takes place on-line.
Then there are factors that impact on individual town centres, such as the size of the catchment – whether more or less people are living in the area, how many people work in the town centre, the retail and service offer, for example comparison or non-food retailing has suffered the most in the recession, food and service business have done better.
Other factors include its location (northern…
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